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    Community Vitality Impact Reports

    SDSU Extension Community Vitality believes it is important to work collaboratively with our stakeholders, South Dakota communities. It is our intent to assess the changes that took place in communities as a result of our programs and our relationship with them. Programs described on this page provide a snapshot of that work and the learning that has been fostered in partnership with communities.

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    Building Capacity in South Dakota’s Local Food Systems: A Rural Business Opportunity Grant Project

    This Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG), funded by USDA Rural Development, brought together local food producers with a team of professional resource providers to form regional and statewide collaborations that will ultimately increase sales of locally grown food products. Providing South Dakota-specific education for producers, creating new avenues for marketing local foods, and allowing for the expansion of businesses that will add new jobs has given the local foods system in the state a boost.

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    Garden-based Education Program

    Communities will increase access to food and build community assets with the development of school and youth gardens. Increased access to high quality, fresh produce could help increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in South Dakota, improving public health. Individuals will have increased opportunity to learn and practice growing their own food, reducing food costs and increasing food access. They will be provided access to fresh, flavorful and often unique products that may otherwise not have been available.

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    The Great Community Book Read

    Public Value Through discussion, gathering ideas, identifying action strategies, and selecting action steps for implementation, community participants will analyze what their community is doing to drive out and attract graduates of their high school. They will design and implement strategies that will assist in resourcing high school graduates who stay in the community and in reaching out to the ones that might return.

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    Horizons

    Horizons communities are more open to change, allow for diverse leadership in appointed and elected positions, and are inclusive as decisions are made. Horizons communities can be recognized by their attitude of building their strengths from within, yet having the knowledge and courage to seek resources as they address issues. Current residents living in Horizons communities can see progress in improving the quality of life there, and new residents enter into an atmosphere of cooperation and a positive outlook.

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    Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Program

    This program integrates components that enhance communities, businesses and individuals on South Dakota reservations. The program encompasses training through Extension and our partners in home and commercial gardening, utilization of small acreages through livestock and other enterprises, nutrition education, and market development. Reservations throughout South Dakota are classified as food deserts by the USDA. These programs provide an opportunity towards addressing food access issues, as well as contributing towards self-sufficiency and food sovereignty. Those participating in these programs acquire skills that help improve nutritious food utilization in home and agency settings. On the business side, participants acquire skills in marketing and presentation of their goods, as well as an understanding of the regulations governing local food utilization in commercial settings.

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    Tatanka’s Healthy Tales

    South Dakota American Indian children have higher than average health risks for obesity and diabetes. Adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle can decrease the chances for these at-risk children to develop these diseases. Education at an early age, in a culturally sensitive way, and with repeated exposure encourages adoption of healthy practices.

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    Youth Science on South Dakota Reservations

    Extension is a provider of educational that encourages life-long learning. The 4-H Experiential learning model engages youth in developing skills and mentoring others. Access to these programs is an effective approach to encouraging youth to pursue science- based activities, and to learn additional skills in leadership and creativity.

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